Lufthansa Cargo makes record-breaking transport of 65 horses to Iran
Lufthansa Cargo flew 65 quadrupeds in 22 mobile stalls from Frankfurt to the Iranian capital, Tehran, on a special flight this week.
As the Boeing 777F with flight number LH8350 took off at 10pm Monday, the entire main deck was taken up by horse containers. The modern freighter flown by Chief Pilot Claus Richter was in the air around four-and-a-half hours before safely landing in Tehran.
Hours before, the elegant stud and competition horses had checked in at Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt Animal Lounge and then been accommodated in new horse containers specially designed for such transports.
Axel Heitmann, who is Heads of the Frankfurt Animal Lounge, said: “The bright, friendly interiors make travel more comfortable and the horses are also more willing to enter the unfamiliar containers.
“The ‘sandwich floor' with two plates means these sensitive animals hardly feel the vibrations during loading. At the end of the day, we want our four-legged guests to enjoy the most comfortable transport experience possible.”
This flight was also something special for Christian Nagel, owner of Agricon-Logistic and KG, the horse shipper responsible for the entire transport. He said: “Even for us, as the market leader in horse transports to the Middle East, a charter flight with 65 horses is always a highlight in daily operations.
“We planned the transport meticulously with Lufthansa Cargo over several weeks.”
The experts from Agricon-Logistic and Lufthansa Cargo had to take numerous factors into account. The mares and stallions were kept separate so as not to cause unnecessary stress during the flight. The female animals were placed at the rear of the aircraft, while their male counterparts were kept to the fore of the deck.
Professional horse attendants from Agricon-Logistic and a vet also travelled on the flight to ensure the horses’ safety and comfort. The vet and care staff have access to their charges at all times during such a flight so as to replenish water and hay supplies and, of course, dole out affection.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.